Monday 29 April 2019

What I'm Watching - April 2019

TV and film that I've been enjoying this month.

The Bay has been running for six weeks, finishing on Wednesday just gone. When teenage twins go missing in the seaside town of Morecambe, Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong is drafted in to act as Family Liason Officer. Cringingly, she discovers that the man she had sex with in an alley outside a pub on the night the twins went missing is their married stepfather. She has two teenage children herself who become mixed up in the case and several suspects are put forward when one of the missing children are found dead. The finale produced mixed reviews with many viewers claiming the ending was an anticlimax, but I enjoyed it, even though Mick guessed the ending long before it came.

I'm pleased to see that a new series of Ambulance is back on our screens. The latest series of this award winning show follows the crews of the North West Ambulance Service and last week's episode showed what happened when paramedic Jon was called to a hotel where a panicked caller had asked for help for her friend who had just given birth despite being unaware she was pregnant. I'm full of admiration for the men and women who take on these roles, I know it's something I couldn't do, I'd be no good in an emergency.

I watched Ricky Gervais in his new series After Life on Netflix before my mum died. Goodness me, how I can relate to his character, Tony, now, well the grief aspect anyway. After Tony's wife dies he decides that life isn't worth living, the only thing keeping him from taking his own life is his dog. He decides that he's going to live his life by saying and doing exactly what he wants and to hell with the consequences. He doesn't care how his actions or words hurt other people as he's so wrapped up in his own grief. There's lots of bad language so I wouldn't recommend it if you're offended by that, but for anyone else, it's definitely worth watching, lots of funny scenes as you'd expect from Ricky Gervais, and some very poignant moments at the end of the series.

Mick took Daniel and Jasmine back to Essex on Easter Sunday after having more than a week with us. It took him about seven hours to get there and back so it was nice to spend some girly time with Eleanor before she went back to uni. That was the day that Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again premiered on Sky so we took this opportunity to watch it. We found it cringeworthy and cheesy in places, as was the first Mamma Mia, but we still enjoyed it. I thought that Lily James took a good part and I really enjoyed her singing, which can't be said for Amanda Seyfried, her warbling and excessive vibrato really got on my nerves in the first film and it was even more annoying this time round. I was pleased to see the original cast all making appearances, some had bigger parts than others this time but what of the over-hyped casting of Cher? Well, I don't think I'd have missed her if she wasn't there. I enjoyed the storyline and the music, of course. It's not the best thing I've ever seen but it passed an afternoon.

Have you been watching any of these? What else have you been watching this month?

Saturday 27 April 2019

Casting Off And A Giveaway

I read a post on Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal blog about Casting Off by P I Paris. I enjoy reading reviews on blogs, my 'books to read' list gets ever longer when I read a good write up. I've had this book on my list for a while and when I mentioned this in the comment I left, Julie very kindly said that she'd send me her copy. I'm pleased to say that it surpassed my expectations.

The story about three elderly women first began as a stage play. The seventy minute play toured in 2015 and was so popular that a novel based on the same storyline and featuring innocent Dorothy, prim Miss Ross and worldly-wise Joan was written.

Set in a Highland care home, the three women have to devise a way to raise money when new owners increase the residential fees.

Casting Off is primarily a comedy but it also examines some serious issues such as loneliness, friendship and sacrifice, and it shows how reaching out to strangers can change our lives.

There's some wonderful characters in the book who I fell in love with, some poignant moments and lots of laughs along the way. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Thank you, Julie, for passing the book on to me. In the same spirit, I'd like to pass the book along to someone else who fancies reading it. Just leave a comment on this post and I'll choose a winner at random in a week or so.

Thursday 25 April 2019

In The Making - April 2019

A roundup of the things I'm working on at the moment.

To be honest, I haven't done much knitting at all since my mum died. My time has been limited because of everything we've had to do as well as spending much more time with my dad, and also the desire to do anything has just dropped. I've picked my needles up a few times but they've been put back down again before I've really got much done.

I started a new pair of socks before my mum died. I'd seen a couple of people using this Bergere de France Goomy 50 in the Imprim Jaune colourway and really liked it so I treated myself to some. I've gone with a plain sock this time as I think there's enough pattern in the colour. I'm dressing them up a bit with a twisted rib cuff and an eye of partridge heel which I'll show you once they're a bit further on.

I managed to start one of the sleeves on the cardigan before my mum died but haven't done much more since. Sleeves aren't my favourite things to knit so I definitely haven't been reaching for this project in the last few weeks.

I'm sure my knitting mojo will slowly return as I come to terms with the loss of my mum. I think I need to begin a new project to get me on my way. Watch this space.

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Up Days And Down Days

I've been having some up days and some down days since my mum died, which I suppose is only natural. The first week or so was very hard with the organisation of the funeral, and everything that has to be done when someone dies, left mainly to Mick and myself. My dad isn't in the best of health and with the added grief on top it's been very difficult for him, so we've been spending as much time as we can with him on top of everything else.

Mum as a little girl. This is the earliest photo I have of her.
I was so pleased to see Eleanor when she arrived home from university for the Easter holidays. She had been home for a week before Daniel and Jasmine arrived for a further week, a trip which was organised before my mum died but actually worked out well as we had the funeral on the Monday of that week. Getting everyone home for the funeral was one less thing to worry about as everyone was already here. It was nice to have a full house for nearly a week after the funeral, it gave me less time to sit and brood, though this is the time when the grief really hit home.

Mum (on the left) in her teens with her friend.
The funeral itself went as well as these things can. I've always known that my mum was such a special person but it's been so moving to hear from other people how she touched their lives with her kindness and caring nature, a sentiment which I've heard over and over again these past few weeks. She went out of her way to help others, especially through hard times in their lives and also at times when my mum was having a difficult time herself. We will shortly be scattering her ashes with my sister who died twenty years ago this coming July, they would have wanted to be together.

Mum and Dad shortly after they'd met.
I'd like to thank everyone for their kind and touching comments on my last post, and especially for the many wonderful cards and emails I've received from many of you, they're so very much appreciated. To know that you're being thought about at times like these helps in a way I can't explain, it's like the grief is being shared in a way. Each message I've received has been very special to me and I can't thank you enough.

Mum with Daniel twenty four years ago.
My mum was knocked out with a cocktail of drugs before she died but not long before she passed away she did come round sufficiently to tell us all that she loved us and we were able to tell her that we loved her too, I'm very grateful for that. Life now will never be the same again, she will be missed so much until the day I die, she's left a hole that will never be filled. Mums are very special people and mine was the best, it's so hard knowing that I'll never see her again, I think that's the hardest thing to come to terms with.

Mum loved her holidays abroad with us.
Daniel and Jasmine left on Sunday and Eleanor's gone back to university today. Mick's taken quite a bit of time off work since my mum died, his company have been brilliant allowing him to spend time with me, sometimes working from home but more often than not doing things which needed to be done and being on comforting duty, but he's also back to the old routine again now so this is where my life really starts without my mum. I know it's going to be very hard but I've got to try and get on with it in the best way I can, besides, I know that's what my mum would want.